ABU DHABI, Masdar City's Eco-Villa, a pilot project incorporating water- and energy-saving technologies, has been completed, and a UAE national family will soon live in the sustainable dwelling prototype - it was announced on Thursday at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017.

The Eco-Villa was launched in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Dhiyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Suhail Mohammed Al Mazrouei, the UAE Minister of Energy; Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar; Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, Head of the Energy Council and Member of Abu Dhabi's Executive Council, and Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company.

The prototype spanning 405 sq. m. is the first such dwelling to get a 4 Pearl rating as per Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council's Estidama Pearl Building Rating System. Eco-Villa will use around 72 percent less energy and 35 percent less water than a typical villa of similar size, and will bring down carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 63 tonnes annually.

The cost of construction is similar to that of a conventional home of the same size. However, its energy and water efficiency will substantially reduce running costs. The four-bedroom property is expected to consume just 97 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per square metre.

Fully equipped with 87 rooftop solar panels, the prototype is capable of supplying as much as 40,000 kWh of electricity to the national grid. A suite of passive energy and water-saving design features further reduce its impact on the environment.

"People expect a sustainable design option to be more expensive, but our Eco-Villa concept challenges this misconception," said Yousef Baselaib, Executive Director of Sustainable Real Estate at Masdar.

"The Eco-Villa stays true to Masdar City's principles of sustainable urban development in that it is cost-efficient, environmentally sensitive and culturally appropriate in both its design and function. Because of its energy and water-efficient design, residents of the Eco-Villa will receive significantly reduced power and water bills," he added.

Once a family moves in, Masdar's sustainability team will monitor the villa's energy, water and waste management performances. The data collected will enable the design of Eco-Villa to be further refined, supporting the eventual commercialisation of the building concept.

"Our Eco-Villa prototype shows that sustainable design can be implemented according to specific environmental, social and economic demands of the Gulf region," added Masdar's Baselaib.

Masdar City, one of the world's most sustainable urban developments, is home to around 300 full-time students of the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. Around 2,000 apartments are either under construction or in design phase, being developed by Masdar or third-party investors. These developments will bring the residential population at Masdar City to more than 3,500 over the next three years.

Source: Emirates News Agency